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Boston College 45-Louisville 42: Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down

Boston College v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Talk about unexpected.

The Boston College football team went into Louisville and pulled off a shocking upset over last year’s Heisman winner Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals. If you had to pick a way BC would win before the game started, a shootout that came down to who had the ball last probably wouldn’t have been high on your list. And yet, here we are. Let’s take a look at the performances from Saturday, which I’m happy to say, was a lot more good than it was bad.

THUMBS UP

AJ Dillon: I mean, where else could you start? The freshman Dillon was given the reigns yesterday, and boy did he make the most of his opportunity, putting up 272 yards and 4 touchdowns on 39 carries in a performance that had to have people remembering Andre Williams’ senior season. Dillon had a game breaking 75 yard run in the fourth quarter, leveling a Louisville defender with a vicious stiff arm before showing off breakaway speed to take it to the house. He ran hard all game, picking up yards after contact and extending drives almost by himself. Yesterday's game showed that even as a freshman, Dillon is the best back that BC has, and he should be getting the majority of the carries going forward.

Anthony Brown Running: Before getting hurt and being forced to leave the game, Anthony Brown was having a nice day of his own running the football. He broke a 30 yard run on third and long and put up a career high 52 yards all together. BC hit on a few zone reads early in the game, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a bit more of that going forward.

Wyatt Ray: BC was going to need to force some turnovers to have a chance yesterday, and Wyatt Ray delivered in a big way. With BC leading for the first time all day, Ray made a beautiful read and jumped in front of a Lamar Jackson pass. Ray took the ball down the sidelines BC was set up in Louisville territory. It was a great play by the junior defensive end, and one that made the game seem a whole lot more winnable.

Hamp Cheevers, Kam Moore, and Issac Yiadom: Forcing and recovering (and then re-recovering) a fumble late in the fourth quarter with Jackson driving to set up the Eagles for their game winning field goal. Doesn’t get much bigger than that.

Darius Wade: Steve Addazio didn’t ask Wade to do a ton, but the backup quarter back still had to make a few plays. Throwing almost exclusively on play action roll-outs, Wade went 7-10 in his relief of Brown. The numbers weren’t eye popping, but Wade did what he had to do to make the defense at least think he may pass. It was a nice moment for Wade, who has been around for a while, but never really got his shot at quarterback.

The Offensive Playcalling: Adazzio came out of the locker room at halftime saying he wanted to keep pounding the rock and I was rolling my eyes before the sentence was out of his mouth. I’ll take the loss on that one. Adazzio leaned heavily on Dillon, giving the freshman 39 carries and going to Jon Hilliman just six times. If we’re going to criticize his game plan when it doesn’t work, we have to give him credit when it does. BC wore down the Cardinals defense and were able to push them around late in the game.

THUMBS DOWN

Anthony Brown Passing: Not the best numbers from Brown when he was asked to thrown. Brown went 5-17 for 100 yards with the vast majority coming on his 42 yard touchdown pass to Thadd Smith. Brown threw an interception when he tried a deep ball that probably shouldn’t have been thrown and he missed some open receivers before getting banged up. It was nice to see him as a threat on the ground, but he needs to make some more throws as the season continues.

Fourth Quarter Defense: Look, Lamar Jackson is absurdly good. He’s going to get his yards and put up points against pretty much anyone. But when your offense hands you a 14 point lead with ten minutes left in the game, you need a better effort than the one BC had yesterday. Jackson and the Cardinals marched down the field twice in a row with ease to tie the game up and it looked like he was about to do it again before his receiver fumbled. As I said, the forced fumble and the ensuing recovery was a huge part of the game, it’s just frustrating that that situation arose at all.

Colton Lichtenberg: This probably is close to a thumbs sideways than a thumbs down, and his earlier miss ended up not mattering because of his game winning kick. But Lichtenberg missed a kick early on and has struggled in recent weeks after a promising start to the season. Hopefully the game winner helps him turn things around, because BC is not a team that can afford to leave a lot of points on the field.